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Author Topic: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?  (Read 1521 times)

When we talk about our beloved p'n'c adventures the main games that came in minds are developed by LucasArts, Westwood, Revolution, Deck13, Pendulo Studios, Access Software... mostly american and european studios.
But if you ask aboot asian or better japanese p'n'c adventure very few come to mind. The first Clock Tower for SNES, Policenauts for Sega CD/Playstation and few others.
Think about, it's strange that an important game industry as the japanese one don't produce more of this kind of adventure. Lots of RPG, FPS, survival horror and visual novel. But very few p'n'c adventure for what I know.

Why?

It could be a matter of culture? Japanese gamers doesn't like to use the mouse? Or they just doesn't care it?

Even in this AGS community seems there are more occidental than oriental people, but I may be wrong. The impression is that asians are low interested i this games. just my impression, though.

_
« Last Edit: 07 Dec 2018, 17:52 by TheFrighther »

Danvzare

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Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #1 on: 07 Dec 2018, 13:03 »
Different cultures like different types of gameplay. Europe clearly prefers puzzle solving, America clearly prefers violence, and Japan clearly prefers in-depth stories. It's as simple as that really.
Of course there are exceptions to this, there always is. But I think you'll find the majority of games from these cultures match what I said.

But if you think about it, visual novels are technically adventure games. At least in the same vein as what Telltale Games became known for. If someone actually started making these visual novels 3D, with the ability to move around, they would be indistinguishable from the Telltale Adventure Games. In other words, all story, no puzzles.

Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #2 on: 07 Dec 2018, 13:16 »
I've always thought - rightly or wrongly - that P&C were traditionally more a game for computers and therefore areas that tended to be more focused on console gaming were less likely to pick them up, at least in the 80s / early 90s. 


Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #4 on: 07 Dec 2018, 14:46 »
It could be related to the Western crash of consoles in the late 80's (atari, etc.). While shortly after the Japanese already were getting addicted to the NES (which means that the platformer genre was deeply rooted in their gaming culture), in the US they were quickly rebounding with some new equipment (also pushing them towards action-oriented games).
Meanwhile in Europe they were "stuck" inbetween, with either office equipment (small computers) or moderately/outdated consoles. In Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Europe, they kept using the Amstrad and Amiga waaayyyy longer.
So it took more time and money for the new "dream machines" to arrive in some parts of Europe (see the "no export for you" article in the previous post), which spawned some new cheap-to-produce genres (typically: point n click), and genres that could run on a computer (i.e. genres where the FPS is not too important but where you can use the many colors provided. Let's say "contemplative genres"). Let's not forget that Lucasarts and Sierra were aiming at the Germans as much as the Americans to sell their point-n-click.


EDIT: see here at 19:34 -- Europe found comfort in machines like the Amiga for a longer time than the US

« Last Edit: 10 Dec 2018, 11:08 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

LimpingFish

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Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #5 on: 08 Dec 2018, 01:49 »
Oooohhhh...where to begin?

...

I'm a Japanese PC fanatic (that is, I'm fanatical about the history of Japanese PCs and the games contained on them), and I can tell you the amount of adventure games is much larger than you think. But...it's...oh, man, it's really hard to know how to broach the subject without talking about the entire history of PC gaming in Japan, and the quite significant differences between the evolution of adventure games in the east as opposed to those in the west, or how the popularity of certain systems lead to the existence of a completely different gaming ecosystem .

To hugely simplfy the evolution of PC gaming in the West, you go from the 8bit days of the BBC/C64/Spectrum, to the 16bit Amiga/Atari ST, and onto DOS/Windows-based PCs. In Japan, it was totally different. You had the 8bit systems like the MSX/FM7/Sharp X1 or the hugely popular PC-88, the original home of Hideo Kojima's Snatcher. The transition into 16bit systems isn't as clear-cut as in the west, but platforms like the X68000 and the PC-98 are two of the most well known contemporaries of the 16bit era. Then you had the FM-Towns, which was pretty much what we think of as a traditional PC (it ran Windows 3.0/95). But because these platforms had multiple iterations (the PC-98 alone had almost forty during it's lifetime!), the 16bit/32bit divide becomes blurred. All of these systems were superseded by the Windows-based PC, though it happened later than in the West (early 2000's or thereabout).

Long running adventure series like Murder Club (or J.B. and Harold) made multiple appearances across these systems, but there's no real, say, Monkey Island, or Leisure Suit Larry equivalents.

Some years back, I did a few wiki entries over on GiantBomb mostly concerning Japanese adventures (like this one, for example), but very few are known outside of Japan, and even less have English translations. You can trace adventures on Japanese systems back to the early '80s, though most used a first-person perpective and a menu-based GUI (much like Snatcher). The 9-verb, LucasArts-style interface never made an appearance (but similar verb-based UIs did), though titles with UIs similar to Sierra's text parser exist. Icon's never really showed up either, nor did what we traditionally consider Point-and-Click gameplay (you'd be hard pressed to find a Monkey Island-style game, for example)*.

I know I'm generally being quite vague here, because I'm typing this off the top of my head, and I don't want to get too deep into it.

But! For a latter-day point-and-click "hey-that's-a-cursor!" Western-style adventure, you could look at "Glass Rose" on the PS2, a honest-to-goodness, dyed-in-the-wool, third-person, mouse-driven JAPANESE ADVENTURE GAME!

*: Except of course for The Secret of Monkey Island, on the FM Towns...but that doesn't count!

EDIT: On consoles, you can, of course, see the evolution of Japanese adventures in games like Shadow of Memories, the Phoenix Wright titles, Hotel Dusk, the entire Jinguuji Saburou series, and many more.
« Last Edit: 08 Dec 2018, 02:06 by LimpingFish »
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Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #6 on: 08 Dec 2018, 08:08 »

Thanks LimpingFish, so this is the story so far!

I wonder if in these days of indie gaming a new generation of asian gamers (we talked of japanese, but there are also korean or taiwanese or thai) won't give a go using the AGS engine...

_


Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #7 on: 08 Dec 2018, 22:41 »
Different cultures like different types of gameplay. Europe clearly prefers puzzle solving, America clearly prefers violence, and Japan clearly prefers in-depth stories. It's as simple as that really.
I think you are overlooking the fact that multiple big game studios like Dice and Machinegames, famous for the Battlefield and Wolfenstein franchises respectively, are situated in Sweden, as is Paradox, a studio which has released multiple war strategy games.
As for in-depth stories, I think that depends a lot more on the genre than origin country, seeing as while JRPG's do have complex stories, so do western RPGs, and a lot of popular japanese games, such as Mario Cart, Splatoon and Wii sports barely has a story at all.

Anyway, I've gotten the impression that the point and click Adventure genre is biggest in Germany, with most non AGS commercial games coming from german studios.

Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #8 on: 08 Dec 2018, 23:24 »
Anyway, I've gotten the impression that the point and click Adventure genre is biggest in Germany, with most non AGS commercial games coming from german studios.
What else are you going to do when violence is forbidden and all the other stuff is too expensive to make?
It even went so far that we got lots of advertising adventure games for tons of products and organisations, and they were not that bad (or I just didn't know any better then).
https://werbespiel.blogspot.com/2010/09/bifi-2-action-in-hollywood.html
https://werbespiel.blogspot.com/2017/09/hilfe-fur-amajambere.html

Re: Point & click advetnures: an occidental phenomena?
« Reply #9 on: 09 Dec 2018, 18:01 »

What else are you going to do when violence is forbidden and all the other stuff is too expensive to make?


Graphic violence is forbidden in Deutschland? I didn't know! ???

_

Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #10 on: 09 Dec 2018, 18:54 »
Here's a website (in German) that documents all the censorship in movies and games, and the differences to international versions. https://www.schnittberichte.com/
Serious business.

Apparently they have an English website now too:
https://www.movie-censorship.com/list.php?k=4

I think I have to add that the regulations have been somewhat changed in recent years, they are not as bad now. But just for perspective, THIS was the first forbidden videogame in Germany:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Raid
« Last Edit: 09 Dec 2018, 19:08 by Too much clicking »

Danvzare

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Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #11 on: 10 Dec 2018, 14:06 »
I'm a Japanese PC fanatic (that is, I'm fanatical about the history of Japanese PCs and the games contained on them), and I can tell you the amount of adventure games is much larger than you think.
Speaking of which, has anyone here heard of Touch Detective?
It's a DS Point and Click adventure game for the DS. It's quite good, and it's from Japan. Also the third game in the series wasn't even translated.

Different cultures like different types of gameplay. Europe clearly prefers puzzle solving, America clearly prefers violence, and Japan clearly prefers in-depth stories. It's as simple as that really.
I think you are overlooking the fact that multiple big game studios like Dice and Machinegames, famous for the Battlefield and Wolfenstein franchises respectively, are situated in Sweden, as is Paradox, a studio which has released multiple war strategy games.
As for in-depth stories, I think that depends a lot more on the genre than origin country, seeing as while JRPG's do have complex stories, so do western RPGs, and a lot of popular japanese games, such as Mario Cart, Splatoon and Wii sports barely has a story at all.

Anyway, I've gotten the impression that the point and click Adventure genre is biggest in Germany, with most non AGS commercial games coming from german studios.
It was supposed to be a sweeping statement with plenty of exceptions. What I said was supposed to be the equivalent of saying women are more emotional than men. Of course it's not true for everyone. I was trying to say it's true on average. Of course that doesn't mean I'm right, and there's plenty on this thread to refute what I said. :-D

Meanwhile in Europe they were "stuck" inbetween, with either office equipment (small computers) or moderately/outdated consoles. In Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Europe, they kept using the Amstrad and Amiga waaayyyy longer.
I don't know exactly why this was for most of Europe. But I definitely know why it was the case here in Britain. A bit like how LimpingFish knows a lot about the Japanese PC market, I know quite a bit about the British PC market. But... I get the feeling my knowledge on British PCs pales in comparison to what LimpingFish knows about Japanese PCs.

To summarise why Britain stuck with computers, it's all because it was cheaper and easier. You could pay £5 for a PC game (usually less), or £40 for a console game (usually more). And not only that but if you chose PC, you would also have access to pirated games (which were easy to get ahold of), so it was more like £5 for ten games. Those compilations of pirated PC games didn't stop until the late nineties as well, when torrents killed them off. And then of course you could just share your games with your friends if you bought some floppies (or tapes, depending on whether we're talking about the Amiga or the Spectrum).
And considering everything else you could do on a PC such as office work, and the fact that the NES had two incompatible versions released in the UK, it was no surprise that the PC won out. This didn't change until roughly around the time the PS1 released.

No doubt the PC market was responsible for the popularity of certain genres. But to my knowledge, platformers were the most popular genre in the UK. My dad didn't even have an adventure game on the Amiga. And he had a LOT of Amiga games. Unless you count Dizzy that is, but that was more like a platformer adventure game.
I didn't get to play a proper adventure game until I got onto a Windows 95 computer.
« Last Edit: 10 Dec 2018, 14:09 by Danvzare »

Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #12 on: 10 Dec 2018, 14:58 »
Now you see to me, it was the 16-bits that really introduced the pointandclick genre, certainly they were very popular on both the ST (where I first played a p&c) and Amiga.  From my perspective it always felt that the ST/Amiga led the way, and the PC just carried one with it once it had achieved market dominance.  Of course the CD-ROM drive was a big step forward for pointandclicks having full voicing, which was by the time the technology had become pervasive very much a PC thing.

Platformers were very popular of course though bizarrely I always associated the 16-bit consoles with them more than the 16-bit computers.  What you say about the relative cost of games is largely true though I do remember some expensive computer games around the time as well - piracy notwithstanding of course!  Obviously there's a lot of variation across platforms, countries and even regions of the same country as to what was most popular at any given time.  My perspective is as someone who owned an ST between about 1986 and 2002 in London.  The ST market died a slow death in the mid to late 90s.

I was absolutely heartbroken that Monkey Island 2 was never released on the ST (it did IIRC get an Amiga release).  I think once CoMI came out the 16-bit computer's day was pretty much done, with the ST commercial market dying a good year or two before the Amiga's.  Cramming games onto floppy discs because more and more difficult / irrelevant, and so any computer that lacked a decent sized CD-ROM user base was doomed.

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Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #13 on: 12 Dec 2018, 00:59 »
I was absolutely heartbroken that Monkey Island 2 was never released on the ST (it did IIRC get an Amiga release). 
Hah, that brings back memories.  :D

I was an ST gamer (also my first exposure to PnC adventures), and I experienced no end of disappointment in regards to games that bypassed the format (MI2 and beyond for LucasArts, and I think Sierra abandoned the ST sometime after LSL3 or thereabouts.)

Speaking of which, has anyone here heard of Touch Detective?
I fumbled through the first game in Japanese, back when I imported a lot of DS games, and subsequently in English, along with sequel. The DS was a great system for Japanese adventures in general. Hotel Dusk, and it's sequel Last Window, Ghost Trick, Again, Another Code, Flower Sun Rain, 999, LifeSigns (which was actually LifeSigns 2, the first never making it out of Japan), and more all made the jump to English. The 3DS saw some adventure love as well, to a lesser degree, and also has a bunch of titles worth picking up.

But... I get the feeling my knowledge on British PCs pales in comparison to what LimpingFish knows about Japanese PCs.

Oh, believe me, there's huge gaping holes in my knowledge base. :D

I'd recommend getting into the emulation side of things, though. Almost everything is available, and is pretty easy to run. A lot of those emulators happen to be in Japanese, of course (which makes sense), but there's guides and such available.

As a side note, I started a project some time back to capture and upload interesting Japanese PC games to Youtube (their intro sequences, anyway). Turned out to be a little more awkward than I though, in terms of accurately capturing resolution and palettes (video compression certainly doesn't help), and I never got around to finishing it. I plan on doing it right some day, but I've just now made public everything I managed to get done, if anybody wants to take a look (some cool chiptune music along the way won't hurt either) at how Japan gamed during the '80s and '90s.


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Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #14 on: 15 Dec 2018, 10:57 »
Touch Detective/Mystery Detective, yes! I had to import the sequel from America as the UK only got the first one.
Miles Edgeworth's solo game felt very point and click, given the shift to a third person perspective.
Ghost Trick was good too. And Time Hollow. And Hotel Dusk thingy.

Re: Point & click adventures: an occidental phenomenon?
« Reply #15 on: 15 Dec 2018, 12:23 »
I remember playing Famicon Tantei Club (SNES Detective Club) when I was a kid and it was impossible because it was in Japanese but I liked exploring the screens through trial and error... I wonder if someone translated it, maybe I should play it now :O